Patrick Savoy O’Neill loved his baby son so much that a friend says he fought to break an opioid addiction for him, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Pat was struggling with addiction but at the same time he loved his son,” said Michael Arevalo, according to the publication. “His son was the reason he got clean. It was hard for him. It was a struggle for him.”
But the 29-year-old Santa Rosa man died Monday without regaining consciousness after being found Saturday beside the body of his son, Liam Richard Savoy-O’Neill, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.
Police believe fentanyl killed both, with Liam possibly ingesting the drugs after his father overdosed, KRON reported.
The father and son were found together Saturday afternoon in a bedroom by the child’s mother, who had gone to O’Neill’s home to check on them, KPIX reported.
Mom Emily Rose Guillory posted several photos to Facebook of O’Neill and Liam, with one captioned, “you both will always be my whole heart.”
“I just want to say I love you both more than life itself,” Guillory wrote on another post. “We made such a beautiful little family. I hope you found each other and can be daddy shark and baby shark in heaven. You will always be my angels. Heaven gained two beautiful souls.”
Some people commenting on the posts expressed their sympathies, while others took Guillory to task for leaving Liam with O’Neill or condemned O’Neill for his child’s death in comments that have since been deleted.
Family friend Shane Cratty said Liam was a “happy little boy” who “loved his dad,” KRON reported.
Cratty said he thought O’Neill had been clean for the past several months, leaving him struggling to make sense of the tragedy, according to the station.
“My heart goes out to their family and I think this tragedy should show people that fentanyl is very dangerous and they just shouldn’t use it,” Cratty said, KRON reported. “It should somehow just be taken off the streets completely.”